Tag Archives: phillip martin brown

Waterloo Road: 30% cuts week

lorraine waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.22) Lorraine Donnegan’s accountant has told her she needs to slash the Waterloo Road budget by 30%. That’s a lot of slashing, so she decided she’d start by moving into Michael Byrne’s office. Has it suddenly become much larger? I’d swear it used to be a bit more snug, but maybe he used to have a false wall in there to make it smaller so Sian Diamond would have to wriggle past him for staff meetings. Now he’s on a pipe-and-slippers domestic footing with Jane Beale, he has no need of such stratagems and the extra space has come in handy for Cockney Lorraine and her ergonomic desk chair.

Further savings were to be found by making Michael do an honest day’s teaching instead of slumping over his desk all day waiting for disasters to happen. To make sure he could still hack it on the shop floor, Nikki Boston was dispatched to watch. If Nikki observed all the teachers, Lorraine (dress code: leather and black lace) reasoned, she’d be able to spot teachers who were not adding value, who could then be Drastically Cut.

waterloo roadThe prime candidate for that sort of thing would in normal times have been Grantly Budgen, a man with such a gift for teaching he makes Steph Haydock look like Dead Poets Society. But these are not normal times for Grantly, what with having rapidly deteriorating kidneys and that. It’s put a dreadful burden on Maggie the Dinnerlady, who was faced this week with the added pressure that Lorraine wanted to slash the canteen budget as well and made Maggie compete with local takeaway owner The Prince of Spices for the honour of serving the school meals.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: The return of the giant broccoli

waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.21)  Back we go to Waterloo Road, refreshed after the holidays. Sian Diamond has gone, and Cockney Lorraine has replaced her as Deputy Head with girlfriend Nikki Boston. It is her school, after all, so she doesn’t have to go through boring stuff like a proper recruitment procedure. Though Lorraine’s accountant has spotted that there’s not a lot of money to be made in a school (unless you’re Barry Barry and have sidelines in drugs and nicked cars) and has advised her to dump it. Lorraine, however, isn’t just in it for the money. She has a Vision, and like Michael Byrne she wants to do her best for the people they both insist on referring to as These Kids. If it comes down to a contest between These Kids and her Ferrari, though, she’s going to have a tough decision on her hands.

Grantly Budgen needs a new kidney, and Maggie the Dinner Lady isn’t a suitable match. He is therefore currently undergoing regular dialysis at home, which is the front bedroom of the boarding house for troublesome teens. As if the troublesome teens don’t have enough to worry about already.

The thing worrying Connor and Emo Imogen is how Jane Beale is going to take the news that they’re already married. They weren’t the most worried pupils this week, though. That would be problem-pupil-of-the-week Fergal Doherty, pursued by the father of his ex girlfriend who died of something drugs-related, and making ends meet by getting Harley off his head on something potent and unspecified. Dear, innocent Harley was only saved from a long drop off the school roof by the swift intervention of someone the teacher with the pointy face picked up in Africa.

Kacey Barry, meanwhile, has decided she wants to be called Robbie (“Robbie Barry” has a certain swagger to it, I agree) and use the boys’ toilets. Barry’s not happy about this, and Tom Clarkson has suggested the unisex teachers’ toilets as a compromise. I’m not sure who the unisex teachers are, but it’s kind of them to let Robbie/Kacey use their toilets.

The most exciting thing for me this week was spotting that there’s a giant sculpture of broccoli (and other veg) above the canteen door. It was only glimpsed briefly, but from now on I’m going to be on broccoli-watch to see if it reappears again. It would have gone so nicely with the W of pie from Series 6.

Posted by PLA          (More Waterloo Road here)


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